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Evidence to Improve Care

Fecal Microbiota Therapy for Clostridium difficile Infection

Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee Recommendation

  • The Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee recommends publicly funding fecal microbiota therapy for patients with recurrent Clostridium difficile infection

Read the full OHTAC Recommendation report

Clostridium difficile, often called "C. difficile" or "C. diff," is a bacterium that commonly causes inflammation of the colon and diarrhea. Risk factors for infection include antibiotic use, inflammatory bowel disease and increasing age. As many as 20% to 30% of patients who are diagnosed with C. difficile get the infection again. In some cases, C. difficile infections are fatal.

Health Quality Ontario Reviews Fecal Microbiota Therapy

Transplanting microbes from the digestive system of a healthy person is a simple way to get a better mix of microbes into a person infected with C. difficile. Fecal microbiota therapy, also known as a stool transplant or a fecal transplant, is the process of transplanting fecal bacteria from a healthy individual into a patient with C. difficile. Compared with using antibiotics, fecal microbiota therapy is effective and appears to represent good value for money for treating recurrent C. difficile infections.

Fecal Microbiota Therapy for Clostridium difficile Infection: A Health Technology Assessment (PDF)
July 2016

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The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care endorses this recommendation.

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has provided the following response: The Ministry agrees with this recommendation and encourages hospitals to take-up this innovative, effective, safe, and cost-saving procedure for appropriate patients. The Ministry provides public funding to Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) and hospitals to ensure appropriate resources for procedures such as these.

Health Technology Assessment at Health Quality Ontario

As part of our core function to promote health care supported by the best available evidence, we use established scientific methods to analyze the evidence for a wide range of health interventions, including diagnostic tests, medical devices, interventional and surgical procedures, health care programs and models of care. These analyses are informed by input from a range of individuals, including patients and clinical experts. The Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee — a committee of the Health Quality Ontario board of directors — reviews the evidence and makes recommendations about whether health care interventions should be publicly funded or not. Draft recommendations are posted on the Health Quality Ontario website for feedback. Final recommendations are approved by our board of directors and then shared with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. For more detailed information, visit our Evidence to Improve Care pages.


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